SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California's tax code provides the sole remedy for consumers who believe that a retailer improperly charged tax reimbursements, the California Supreme Court held May 1 in a 4-3 opinion rejecting state unfair competition law (UCL) claims (Kimberly Loeffler, et al. v. Target Corp., No. S173972, Calif. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A consumer who alleges that an online members-only shopping website falsely advertised the fabric used to make baby blankets must arbitrate his individual claims, a New York federal judge ruled April 24, dismissing the man's class complaint (Adam Starke, et al. v. Gilt Groupe, Inc., No. 13-5497, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58006).
NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York overseeing class and states' parens patriae actions that allege that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books on April 24 denied Apple's motion to stay a joint damages trial pending Apple's submission and appellate review of a petition for interlocutory appeal of the class certification order (In re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, 11-MD-2293, S.D. N.Y. [State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.]; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57473).
CHICAGO - The United States moved for leave to file an amicus brief on April 24 in support of Motorola Mobility Inc.'s petition for rehearing en banc of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Motorola's claims that suppliers of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels engaged in a global price-fixing conspiracy based on overseas purchases by Motorola's foreign affiliates do not fall under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act's (FTAIA) domestic injury exception and were properly dismissed (Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., et al., No. 14-8003, 7th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal appeals court panel on April 25 affirmed dismissal of a California Avandia consumer refund case, agreeing with the multidistrict litigation court that the plaintiff had failed to state a claim on which relief can be granted (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, No. 13-3463, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7770).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia presiding over the antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against U.S. Airways Group Inc. opposing its proposed merger with American Airlines Inc. on April 25 ruled that the merger was "in the public interest" (United States of America v. U.S. Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-1236, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 28 declined to review a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Novell Inc. failed to present evidence sufficient for a jury to find that Microsoft Corp. unlawfully used its dominant position in the personal computing operating-systems market to monopolize the word-processing and spreadsheet applications markets when it withdrew access to its namespace extensions (Novell, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, No. 13-1042, U.S. Sup.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A pharmaceutical manufacturer that alleged that its competitor violated federal and state antitrust laws by using market-share discounting practices and exclusionary contracts with hospitals filed a notice of appeal on April 23 to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal of the trial court's order granting summary judgment against it (Eisai Inc. v. Sanofi-Aventis U.S., LLC, et al., No. 08-4168, D. N.J.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. on April 24 told a federal judge in California that they have reached an agreement to settle an antitrust suit brought by their employees accusing the high-tech companies of conspiring to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into agreements not to compete for one another's employees (In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 22 sent a class suit alleging that millions of dollars of homeopathic eardrops were sold based on false advertising and marketing back to state court, finding that the defendants failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Sharon Manier, et al. v. Medtech Products, Inc., et al., No. 14-209, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55963).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A homebuilder's claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL) that he was fraudulently induced into signing a promissory note so the lenders could later foreclose on his property fails based on res judicata because the dispute over the promissory note was already decided by a Texas state court, a federal judge held April 21 (Kenneth W. Guice v. James L. Emerson, et al., No. 13-2250, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55870).
SAN FRANCISCO - The owners of three homes in San Francisco illegally converted the properties from residential apartments into commercial tourist lodging after evicting longtime residents, including two who are disabled, from their apartments, the city attorney alleges in two lawsuits filed in state court on April 23 under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the city Planning Code (City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Darren Lee, et al., No. 538857; City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Tamara Yurovsky, et al., No. 538854, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Three computer hardware manufacturers violated California consumer protection laws, including the unfair competition law (UCL), by misrepresenting the performance capabilities of their motherboards to mislead consumers into buying their products, a consumer alleges in a class action complaint filed April 21 in federal court (Joshua Smith v. Pegatron USA, Inc., et al., No. 14-1822, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - Twenty California residents sued Ford Motor Co. on April 22 in federal court, alleging that the Ford pickup trucks they purchased had defective engines and that Ford knew of the defect and not only failed to notify consumers but then also failed to authorize proper repairs or replacement of the engines under the vehicles' warranties, in violation of the state's unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes (Juan Zavala, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 14-3068, C.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA - The reverse-payment settlement of patent litigation between the holder of a drug patent and potential generic manufacturers of the drug is not entitled to Noerr-Pennington immunity from antitrust liability, a federal judge in Georgia ruled April 21 (In re: Androgel Antitrust Litigation [No. II], MDL No. 2084 [All Cases], No. 1:09-md-2084, N.D. Ga.; Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., et al., No. 1:09-cv-955, N.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54808).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 22 upheld a Federal Trade Commission order requiring ProMedica Health System to divest St. Luke's Hospital to an FTC-approved buyer within 180 days, concluding that the FTC properly found that the acquisition was likely to substantially lessen competition and increase prices for general acute-care inpatient hospital services and inpatient obstetric services sold to commercial health plans in the Toledo, Ohio, area (ProMedica Health System, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 12-3583, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7500).
SAN DIEGO - Consumer class action claims under the California unfair competition law (UCL) that a manufacturer fraudulently concealed that its hair dryers were defective fail because the consumers did not sufficiently allege that the manufacturer had exclusive knowledge of material facts not known to the consumers or that the manufacturer actively concealed a material fact from the consumers, a federal judge held April 17 (Cynthia L. Czuchaj v. Conair Corporation, No. 13-cv-1901, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54415).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on April 17 dismissed with prejudice a man's claims for negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress against his loan servicer, after finding that the defendant owed no duty of care to the plaintiff (Rey C. Gopar v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 13-cv-2292-W, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54420).
SAN DIEGO - Two car buyers' claims that a dealership violated the California unfair competition law (UCL) and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) fail because the purchasers did not allege how they were harmed or state how each instance of alleged wrongdoing violated the statutes, a federal judge held April 17 in dismissing the buyers' lawsuit but granting them leave to amend (Petra Villalobos, et al. v. CarMax Auto Superstore California, LLC, No. 12-cv-2626, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54375).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California appeals court on April 17 remanded to a trial court a class action complaint alleging that a car dealership's sales practices violate the state unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws so the lower court can determine whether three provisions in the arbitration clause of the dealership's sale agreement that both courts found to be unconscionable should be severed from the contract (Suzanne Gillespie v. Svale Del Grande, Inc., et al., No. H039428, Calif. App., 6th Dist.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on April 17 dismissed a New Jersey man's pro se class complaint alleging that Nordic Naturals Inc.'s omega supplements failed to live up the company's advertised quality (Harold M. Hoffman, et al. v. Nordic Naturals, Inc., No. 12-5870, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53125).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An antitrust and patent infringement defendant was properly awarded summary judgment by an Illinois federal judge, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 18 (DSM Desotech Inc. v. 3D Systems Corporation and 3D Systems Inc., No. 13-1298, Fed. Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Producers and owners of multimedia content cannot demonstrate antitrust injury in their lawsuit against wireless carriers because they are not participants in the same market, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 17 in an unpublished opinion (Bruce Max Davis, et al. v. AT&T Wireless Services Inc., et al., No. 12-55985, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7243).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on April 15 denied Apple's motion to dismiss an action by the attorneys general of several states that alleges that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books, rejecting Apple's arguments that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the states' damages action against Apple because the states do not have constitutional standing (In re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, 11-MD-2293, S.D. N.Y. $(State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.$); 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52127).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 11 granted a motion to amend the class definition and partially granted a summary judgment motion both filed by current and former student-athletes who have accused the National Collegiate Athletic Association of misappropriating their names, images and likenesses in violation of their statutory and common-law rights of publicity and of violating federal antitrust law by conspiring with Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) and Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) to restrain competition in the market for the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses in game footage (In Re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, No. 09-1967, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50693).